James Maddison the star of the show as Tottenham dare to dream atop the table


Ahead of another giddy night for his side, Ange Postecoglou acknowledged that Tottenham were able to play "a different way" without Harry Kane.

Postecoglou did not elaborate but, ask any Spurs supporter right now, and they would not have their team play any other way after they returned to the top of the Premier League and went two points clear with a commanding 2-0 win over Fulham.

Really, it should not be wholly surprising how quickly Spurs have moved on from Kane when they effectively replaced him with a player of James Maddison's quality, and the playmaker was the inspiration behind a ninth straight League game unbeaten, scoring the second goal.

It was another slightly frustrating international break for Maddison, perhaps in part because there is no obvious place for him in an England side also including Kane and Jude Bellingham.

In the white of Spurs, though, there are few players at this level more in-form, influential to their team and exhilarating to watch.

Heung-min Son, of course, is also doing his part to make Kane a distant memory, and the Korean opened the scoring with a seventh League goal of the campaign, before making the second for his new strike-partner.

From the off, though, it was Maddison who ran this game, dictating the play with the ball and pressing feverishly without it.

With Yves Bissouma suspended, Spurs' No10 dropped deeper than usual in search of possession and was at the centre of the waves of attacks launched by Postecoglou's side.

Towards the end of the first half, they played their best football yet under the head coach, a scintillating series of quick passing moves, which should have resulted in goals for Destiny Udogie and Dejan Kulusevski - before Son scored.

In the end, both goals came from Fulham errors and were near-enough identical, centre-half Calvin Bassey losing possession when trying to play out of weaker right foot and Spurs' ruthlessly exploiting the error.

Son scored the first on 36 minutes after quick thinking by Richarlison and the Korean set up Maddison for the coolly taken clincher.

It was the least Maddison deserved for his performance and only a combination of Bernd Leno and Son getting in his way denied him a second, after he pickpocketed Bassey. It is now three goals and five assists for Maddison in nine League games, Kane-like numbers all told.

Spurs can go five points clear at the top of the table with another win over depleted Crystal Palace on Friday night and, even though the Eagles will have two days more rest, it is hard to look beyond Postecoglou's thrilling, hard-running side at the moment.

Are Spurs title contenders? They will surely have a setback at some point but it was not against Fulham, and with Maddison in this kind of mood, anything feels possible.